News State SA News Man, baby die in fall from Barossa dam wall

Man, baby die in fall from Barossa dam wall

barossa dam man baby
The Whispering Wall is part of the Barossa Reservoir and is a popular tourist destination. Photo: Supplied
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South Australia Police has named an Adelaide father and daughter who died in a suspected murder-suicide at the Barossa Reservoir.

Henry Shepherdson, 38, jumped from the Whispering Wall with his nine-month-old daughter Kobi late yesterday.

SA Police said emergency services were called about 4.30pm Wednesday to the 36-metre-high tourist attraction at Williamstown near the Barossa Valley, “after witnesses reported seeing a man and infant go over the edge of the wall and fall to the ground”.

“When patrols arrived, they found a deceased man and an infant who was unresponsive. Paramedics worked on the infant but sadly, she died at the scene,” the statement read.

Local detectives, major crime branch and forensic crime scene investigators were on the scene to examine the circumstances of the incident.

Police said no one else was being sought over the deaths and a report would be prepared for the South Australian coroner.

Local state MP Stephan Knoll said the incident was awful.

“It is just heartbreaking … it does hit everybody hard … and we all do need to band together,” Mr Knoll told ABC Radio Adelaide on Thursday.

“But that’s the beauty of a community like the Barossa. Whenever these things happen … we do what we can to look after each other.

Mr Knoll said the police and coroner’s investigations might recommend safety fixes for the wall.

“It is a very popular tourist attraction and something that young people and kids of generations have been going to visit and not before have we heard or seen of an incident like this,” he said.

“But, having said that, if things need to be done to modify the structure, then that’s something we need to look at.”

The Whispering Wall, which was built between 1899-1903, is in the south of the Barossa Valley, 50 kilometres north-east of Adelaide.

It is the retaining wall for the Barossa Reservoir and attracts tourists for its unique acoustics. Whispers from one end of the wall can be heard from up to 100 metres away.

The area remained closed on Thursday.

If you or anyone you know needs help:

  • Lifeline on 131 114
  • Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
  • MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
  • Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
  • SANE Australia on 1800 18 7263
  • Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636

-with agencies